Quick Cash or Long Term Value?

When you first start a business, it’s tempting to focus on quick cash activities. A typical example of that is the newbie blogger who fills their blog with all kinds of ads and affiliate links.

Instead of focusing on creating content to build traffic, they are glued on their screen checking their income stats, which barely move above zero.

Cash isn’t the only form of value. It’s mostly the final link in the value chain. People have all kinds of objections to spend cash. Moreover, you have to pay taxes on the cash you earn.

Of course, we all need a certain amount of cash to pay our expenses, but anything beyond that is better skipped to create long term value.

Why I Skip Quick Cash

Here’s an example. Around 40 days ago, I started participating on a social media platform called Steemit. They paid me cash for posting, commenting, and upvoting on their platform.

It was a quick cash activity. All I needed to do was to read a bunch of posts and write some comments that contributed to the discussion.

I didn’t spend much time on the platform, but I had the feeling that if I put in the time, I could make a decent income just by posting and commenting on their platform.

Nevertheless, participating on Steemit would interfere with my blog. I had to focus either on Steemit or on my blog. I had to make a choice.

I either had to choose the quick cash from Steemit or I had to choose the long term value built on my blog, which to this date made no money at all.

Look at the Big Picture

When I looked at the big picture, the decision was obvious. Steemit provided only quick cash. It didn’t have any secondary benefits, what I call the cherry on top.

Their business model didn’t look sustainable. They were providing quick cash just because there was a bubble in the cryptocurrency markets. As soon as that bubble burst, Steemit would cease to provide as much cash to their users.

Moreover, I had to pay around 50% in income taxes for every penny I made on Steemit. So, it wasn’t that attractive of a deal.

My blog doesn’t make any cash, because this is by design. I choose not to include any ads or affiliate links.

First, they would interfere with the objective of my blog, which is to build an audience of 100K Medium followers and 20K email newsletter subscribers.

Consider the Taxes

Second, every penny I’d make from those ads and affiliate links would be taxed at 50%. Luckily, I don’t have to pay any taxes for every new Medium follower or email newsletter subscriber. They are nontaxable long term value.

Third, those links wouldn’t bring that much income anyway, because my blog is only four months old and doesn’t have that much traffic.

Knowledge and Experience

Another form of long term value is knowledge and experience. Steemit didn’t provide me with as much knowledge and experience as my blog provided.

On Steemit, I need to read through a lot of low quality posts without any valuable information. In order to succeed with my blog, I need to consume quality content. I need to think and work hard to create quality, original, valuable content. All of that results in more knowledge and experience.

When I look at the big picture, it’s easy to see where the long term value is and to make the decision of skipping quick cash for long term value.

Conclusion

It might be tempting for you to make as much cash as possible, as soon as possible. Before you follow the path that offers quick cash, consider your options. What are the life time value of each option?

An option that doesn’t offer any cash in the short term might offer much more value in the long term. We all need some cash to pay our expenses. Anything beyond that is better skipped in favor of creating long term value.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.